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Old May 15th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Default Puffins and Otters

We are landing in Juneau, Sitka, Ketch. we want to see Puffins and Otters. I get seasick, so can anyone tell me if they had this problem on their excursion?
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Old May 16th, 2008, 12:30 AM
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Default Puffins

I have been to Alaska 6 times and have never seen any Puffins. I will be interested in the reply's to your post.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 12:58 AM
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Puffins and sea otters are easy to find with a boat tour at Sitka. See 2 of our trips at http://www.youralaskacruise.com/revi...006/page4.html and http://www.youralaskacruise.com/reviews/2007/page4.html - if Captain Davey is booked see http://www.sitkasoundtours.com/ or other operators at http://www.sitka.org/

A route that avoids open water can be chosen to avoid seasickness issues, but you should take whatever drugs you need just in case.

Murray
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Old May 16th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Default Sitka excursion

Murry: Do you do excursions in Sitka? I love puffins and would like to take a trip to see them. I signed up on HAL sea otter excursion thus far. Is one more likely to see them during certain months of the year?

Thanks for the info.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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Murry,thank you so much for the information, I will definately let you know if I see any Puffins. Aren't they just beautiful!
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:45 AM
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I have river otters (land otters) living in and under my boathouse... they poo on everything, but they're fun to watch.

We saw sea otters (the cute ones with the shells perched on their chest that you're probably thinking of) just south of the Wrangell Narrows on our bear hunt last week... Oh, wait... you're cruising. Probably won't get to enjoy Sumner Straits or the Narrows. Bummer.

Plenty of Otters and Puffins in Sitka. Of the ports mentioned, that's the best bet. I wouldn't say one month is any better than the others, but you can maximize your odds by getting on the smallest boat you can tolerate. The big ships and Allen Marine tour cats just can't get you in close enough to the rocks offshore to get good views of puffins. Charter a small boat, tell them what you want to see, and they'll make it happen if at all possible.

(Be sure to watch for murreletts too... large flocks of the Marbled and Kittletz's varieties were all over Sitka harbors this weekend. - I know... I spelled that WAY wrong!)

Happy Alaska Travels!
-Case
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Default sitka small boat tour

Case, since you live in AK, can you recommend any small boat tour co.s?
Fellow Cmates any reports?
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: sitka small boat tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by sail-a-bration
Case, since you live in AK, can you recommend any small boat tour co.s?
Fellow Cmates any reports?
Honestly, the time I spend in Sitka is almost always on my boat, so I've not experienced any of the tours that are offered with other charter companies. I've heard good reports about Puffins & Whales - Davey Lubin's company, and I've seen his boat, the Esther G. Nice looking boat, rates high with the USCG for safety, and always gets good reviews from their guests.

In Juneau, there's a list almost too long to mention here of great charter boats and captains to choose from, so if you're looking for a recommendation in MY home town, I'd be happy to help.

Happy Alaska Travels!
-Case
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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:24 PM
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Default Recent trip to Sitka

I just came back from Alaska and took a sea otter tour and saw tons of otters and whales, seals and eagles. The tour guide said the otters are out on a small island that the tours from the ships don't go to because of the distance. She might have been just saying that but the boat excursion was fantastic! We also went to the raptor center which was fun.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 06:12 PM
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dmaikui, what tour company did you use?
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Old June 6th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sail-a-bration
dmaikui, what tour company did you use?
The description (especially the part about not getting out to the outer island for puffins) sounds like an Allen Marine tour... these are the big double-decker catamarans that accommodate you and 150 of your closest friends on a low-cost tour. From Sitka, most puffins are sighted on/near St. Lazaria Island, which is a stretch for the larger boats that are really just doing harbor tours.

Not that it does any mainline cruisers any good, but we saw more otters and puffins than I've ever noticed this weekend near Elfin Cove. The Cruise West guests were sure enjoying it...

-Case
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Old June 8th, 2008, 12:24 AM
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Default St. Lazaria Island

Yes, they said the puffins were on/near St. Lazaria Island. And you are correct, it was a double decker, a tour arranged by HAL. If I was staying in Sitka for any length of time, I arrange for a smaller boat to take me sight seeing. And, next year when we return, via cruise ship, I will try and make arrangements on my own.
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